One of the big things that attracts many people to using cloth nappies over disposable nappies is that they are more environmentally friendly. There is a lot more to the benefits of cloth nappies than just being green, though.
often than not, if someone hears the term “cloth nappy”, they automatically
think of a large white square cloth, potentially hazardous nappy pins, and
dreaded plastic pants. However, cloth
nappies have actually come a long way in recent years and there are tons of
different types, styles and designs when it comes to cloth nappies. In fact,
many modern cloth nappies are as simple to put on as disposable nappies.
Benefits of Cloth Nappies
of the big things that attracts many people to using cloth nappies over
disposable nappies is that they are more environmentally friendly. There is a lot more to the benefits of
cloth nappies than just being green, though.
#1 Less Expensive
average, a baby goes through around 4,000
nappy changes in their first year of life. If you’re pregnant, that’s
probably a pretty intimidating number. Try not to fret though, you’ll get
through it one nappy at a time. The really scary thing is the cost of 4,000 nappies
a year. By the time your little one has toilet trained, you could have spent
over $3,000 on disposable nappies alone. That doesn’t even account for
disposable wipes or nappy disposal bags. Cloth nappies on the other hand are
much more cost effective. The cost of a full stash of cloth nappies could range
from only a few hundred dollars to just under $1,000 depending on what type of
cloth nappies you choose and how many you decide to get.
people say that the cost of washing the cloth nappies ruins the fact that you
save money on the actual nappies. However, even if you calculate in the cost of
detergent, electricity, and water, you still only pay maybe around 50 cents a
load of cloth nappies, obviously depending on how much water your machine uses
and the type of detergent you use. Even if you wash your nappies every other
day, which most people don’t, you would still pay less than $100 a year on
washing nappies and likely much less than that.So, even if you go all out on buying cloth nappies and have an expensive
wash routine, you’ll still probably stay under half of the cost of disposable
nappies. Plus, cloth nappies can be reused with each child and even resold
once you’re finished with them.
thing that a lot of mums love about cloth nappies is the way they look. Modern
cloth nappies come in a huge variety of
colours, styles, and designs. If you can think of it, it’s probably on a
cloth nappy somewhere. You can match anything with a cloth nappy. Most people
can agree that cloth nappies are much cuter than their disposable paper
thing that many people don’t seem to think about when it comes to cloth nappies
is how convenient they can be. With cloth nappies, you never have to worry about running out of nappies. You’ll never
be inconvenienced by having to make a late-night run to buy nappies. You’ll
also have some security with cloth nappies because the only reoccurring cost is
washing them which is very minimal. In other words, if you hit unexpected
financial difficulty, you won’t have to struggle to find money for your bub’s
#4 Environmentally Friendly
not the only benefit of cloth nappies, but it’s definitely still important.
Disposable nappies are thrown away and end up in a landfill. Considering how
many nappies each and every baby that uses disposable nappies goes through, the
number can really add up quickly. On top of that, disposable nappies take hundreds of years to decompose. That means
if your parents used disposable nappies with you that they will be around long
after you and even your children and grandchildren. Finally, the production of
disposable nappies is much less energy efficient and uses much more resources
than that of cloth nappies.
Debunking Cloth Nappy Myths
are myths surrounding cloth nappies that make them less desirable for many
parents. Many of these myths stem from
the truth about how cloth nappies were back when disposable nappies first came
about. Cloth nappies have evolved quite a bit recently, though, and many of
the myths about cloth nappies are no longer true.
#1 Cloth Nappies Are Hard to
a common misconception that changing cloth nappies is much more difficult than
disposable nappies. The difficulty of changing a cloth nappy depends on what
type of cloth nappies you choose. Some cloth nappies may be slightly more
complicated than others but some cloth
nappies are just as simple and easy to change as disposable nappies are and
none of them are terribly difficult once you understand them.
#2 Cloth Nappies Are Hard to
of the most common things that hold people back from using cloth nappies rather
than disposable nappies is that they think that they will be difficult or gross
to clean. Actually, though, they are very easy to clean. Once you get used to washing nappies and establish a good wash routine,
you’ll barely even notice the extra load of laundry, and really, once
you’re a mum, what is one extra load of laundry?
#3 Cloth Nappies Don’t Work as
Well As Disposable Nappies
people seem to get the idea that cloth nappies won’t work as well as disposable
nappies at holding everything in. The level of absorbency your cloth nappies have
will depend on what materials your nappies are made of but if you care for your
cloth nappies well and change as often as you should, you shouldn’t experience
any leaking issues. Cloth nappies also
tend to hold poo in much better than disposables. Many parents that start
out with disposable nappies end up switching to cloth nappies and find that
they suddenly are no longer experiencing the poo blow outs that they dealt with
regularly when their baby was in disposable nappies.
Common Types of Cloth
are different types of cloth nappies that vary in complexity, convenience, and
price. Learning what the different types are can help you make a decision about
which one is right for you should you choose to go with cloth nappies.
1. Terry Squares
squares are what you are imagining when you think old school cloth nappies. They can be intimidating as they are a
large square of fabric that you must fold into a diaper shape, but they aren’t
so bad once you get used to them and they are the most inexpensive cloth nappy option. There are even products
available now that allow you to secure the nappy closed without using
potentially dangerous nappy pins. You should keep in mind that these nappies
require the use of a nappy cover to hold in moisture.
are much like terry squares except that as their name suggests, they are
partially folded already and sewn that way. This makes them easier to use and store. They take less
folding than terry squares but still require some sort of closure device as
well as a diaper cover. These are the second most affordable cloth nappy
nappies are nappies made of absorbent material that have elastic around the
waist and legs of the nappy. This allows them to fit on the baby better than diapers that you have to fold, but they
still require a nappy cover. A fitted nappy may or may not need a closure
device depending on if they have snaps or not. These are a little more
expensive, but still affordable.
nappies are what most people know as modern
cloth nappies. They consist of a diaper shell made of a layer of water
resistant material – usually PUL or polyurethane laminate, and a stay dry layer
that helps bub feel dry. You put a cloth nappy insert into the diaper that is
made of absorbent material. Wetness passes through the stay dry layer and into
the insert. Pocket nappies close using either snaps or hook and loop closures. Pockets combine ease of use with affordability.
5. All in Ones (AIOs)
in ones are much like pocket nappies except there are no extra steps like
putting inserts in. The absorbent layer is sewn into the diaper. They also
close with snaps or hook and loop closures. They are one of the most expensive cloth nappy options, but are as easy
as disposable nappies to use, especially if they are hook and loop closure
all in ones. Even being the most expensive choice, they still save you tons of
money over disposable nappies.
6. All in Twos (AI2s)
in two diapers are like a combo of AIOs
and pockets. The absorbent layer snaps into the diaper shell rather than
slipping into it like a pocket diaper. They usually have a similar price to
AIOs and also close using snaps or hook and loop closures.
Caring for Your Cloth
for cloth nappies is actually very simple. You
should have something to store your nappies in until it’s time to wash them
such as a nappy pail with a pail liner. If your bub only wees in their
nappy, you can toss the nappy straight into the pail to wait until washing
Dealing with Poo
your bub goes poo in the nappy, what you do will depend on your bub’s diet.For a baby that is exclusively breastfed,
as in consumes nothing other than breastmilk, you can throw the nappy straight
into the pail just like you would a wee nappy.
This is because exclusively
breastfed poo is completely water soluble and will cause no problems and leave
nothing left behind in your washer. However, if your bub is eating solids or on
formula, you’ll need to remove the poo from the nappy before washing. You can do
this by either dunking the nappy in the toilet, scraping the poo into the
toilet or by getting a nifty nappy
sprayer to spray the poo into the toilet.
Washing Your Cloth Nappies
your cloth nappies is not much different than any other clothes you wash other
than the fact that they require a quick pre-wash. Simply put your nappies into
the washer, add a small amount of detergent, and run a quick wash on the
nappies. Once you’ve done that, you can go ahead and add a full amount of
detergent, and run a heavy-duty wash on the nappies. You should never use fabric softener on your nappies
as it can cause them to repel rather than absorb.
Drying Your Cloth Nappies
you dry your nappies is completely up to you. Some people prefer to line-dry or
air-dry their nappies, and while this may extend the life of the nappies
slightly, it is not necessary and simply depends on your personal preference.
If you choose to use the dryer to dry your nappies, simply put them in the
dryer for however long it takes to get them dry. Most people prefer to dry them
on low to help preserve them, but again, that’s up to you. If you choose to dry
them on a higher heat, make sure to let
them cool completely before using them on your bub as you shouldn’t stretch
the elastics while they’re still warm. You should also never use dryer sheets as they can cause the diapers to repel just
like fabric softener.
Make the Best Choice for
There are a lot of things to consider when
choosing what type of nappies you’ll use on your bub. Cloth nappies have lots
of great benefits but some people just find disposables easier. One thing that
may help you make your decision is if you can afford the upfront cost of cloth
nappies. They may save you tons of money in the long run but some people can’t
afford to drop a lump sum on nappies. Do what’s best for you and your family
and whatever you decide, your bub will be
plenty happy with it as long as you keep them in a clean and dry nappy.
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